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Historic village open on Saturdays

Iola displays include Native American artifacts, Stromberg violin collection

The Iola Historical Society’s museum and historic complex will be open from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays, June through August.

The museum and other Iola Historical Society buildings feature recently acquired collections:

• Towne Family Native American Artifacts Collection dates back to the first Native Americans to live in Wisconsin more than 10,000 years ago. Ray Towne, his father and his grandfather collected the artifacts in Waupaca, Waushara and Portage counties.

• The Bert Stromberg violin collection features violins in various stages of production, plus Stromberg’s original violin-making tools. Stromberg was a former constable of Iola who made and sold violins in the area in the mid-20th century.

• The Lee Nelson exhibit features a selection of Nelson’s wood carvings. A decorated World War II veteran from Iola. Nelson flew 31 bombing missions in a B-17 “Flying Fortress” over Germany and German-occupied France. He was also an accomplished woodcarver.

• R.I. Anderson Machine Shop features the original equipment used by Anderson, who built, among other things, brass fittings and other fixtures for Iola’s 1942 fire engine (also on display at the replica firehouse). The equipment is located in a replica building inside the society’s Machine Shed, and is still in working condition.

• Chet Krause Exhibit focuses on the founder of Krause Publications, co-founder of the Iola Car Show and philanthropist. Krause’s involvement in the community defined the Iola area’s success in the second half of the 20th century. He died in 2016, so this exhibit is just being developed. It includes his original business desk and awards he received over the yearss.

Other items of local historical significance are also on display in the museum and in all of the buildings. Docents will be at each building to talk about the historic significance of the building and its contents and answer any questions.

Upcoming events for the historical society include the inaugural Native American Heritage Day on Saturday, Aug. 10, and the 10th annual Taste of Norway and Lost Arts Fair on Saturday, Oct. 5.

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